Cutaways do not have to contribute any dramatic content of their own, often being used to help the editor assemble a longer sequence. For this reason, editors choose cutaways related to the main action, such as another action or object in the same location. For example, if the main shot is of a man walking down an alley, possible cutaways may include a shot of a cat on a nearby dumpster or a shot of a woman watching from a window overhead.
In news broadcasting and documentary work, the cutaway is used much as it would be in fiction. . Cutaways to the interviewer, called noddies, can also be used to cover cuts.